Clarification needed

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Clarification needed

Postby Aloka » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:49 am

A member at my forum has stated that Theravada teaches a path to union with Brahma.

http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.co ... 104&page=1


I am a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and my knowledge of Theravada is limited, so I wonder if someone could further explain this to me, please.

Kind wishes,

Dazzle


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Re: Clarification needed

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:53 am

Greetings Dazzle,

Comments like this are just nonsense...

BhaktaGlenn:
The methodology of Gayatri Mantra and Theravadin Buddhist Meditation are very different but, union with Brahma is achieved in both systems. The problem for many Buddhist is that they are Nibbana-centric and more concerned with the Buddha's defeat of the Brahmins than his offer to show them the Path that will unify them with God, for it is very brief.

Whilst the Theravada Teaches a Path to union with Brahma, it does not do so exclusively. The more ancient method is by recitation of the Gayatri Mantra but one requires to follow the correct protocols, which are not mentioned in the Tevijja Sutta.


Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:00 am

Hi Dazzlebling

Perhaps you should ask your friend how he or she came to that conclusion. If I here to hazard a guess, I would say someone has read the Tevijja Sutta and came away thinking that the Buddha taught union with Brahma. Or, confusion with regards to the Theravada Buddhist practice of Brahma Vihara which literally translates to "living with Brahman". Both are incorrect.

What we do know about the Buddha is that his entire teaching is reducable to the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddha taught the way to the end of suffering, the end of the 'wandering on' in samsara. Not a path to union with Brahma which is Brahmanism.

-- The Noble Eightfold Path The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... toend.html

-- Buddhism in a Nutshell by Narada Mahathera: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... shell.html

I hope that helps

Ben
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:05 am

nothing that guy says is buddhist, at least from any traditional stand point ive ever come across... he seems to be using what i would call accidents of language to bring things together that really dont match up
its like when people say hinduism buddhism and jainism all teach the truth of karma, well yeah but all mean different things when they use the word karma... so one's truth is another one's lies...
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:25 am

I am not at home, so I do not have my books at hand, but there is a sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya that characterizes union with brahma, which is possible, as a hina goal when compared to the attainment of awakening, bodhi. After all, Brahma is still a mortal, kamma bound being.

Bhakta Glenn tends to conflates all sorts of things.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Aloka » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:29 am

Thank you so much for the prompt replies. I have been completely bemused in general by this person's posts and worried that they would confuse other members of the group.

Warm wishes

Dazzle _/\_
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Aloka » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:51 am

He also stated "one may achieve union with him by Buddhist Samatha Meditation"

When I asked for a Theravada reference for this he replied:

"Theravada reference:

Buddhist Cosmology

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/bhumis.htm

Refer to The first Jhana

This Jhana Absorption can only be realised through rebirth or Samatha Meditation. In either case, union with God is achieved but, the Theravdin Buddhists call him the Mahabrahma instead."




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Re: Clarification needed

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:54 am

the link he posts doesnt say what he's saying

here are the 4 jhanas

The definition (with similes)
[First jhana]
"There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters and remains in the first jhana: rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought and evaluation. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal.

"Just as if a skilled bathman or bathman's apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again and again with water, so that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within and without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, the monk permeates, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of withdrawal. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal...

[Second jhana]
"Furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters and remains in the second jhana: rapture and pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought and evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure.

"Just like a lake with spring-water welling up from within, having no inflow from east, west, north, or south, and with the skies periodically supplying abundant showers, so that the cool fount of water welling up from within the lake would permeate and pervade, suffuse and fill it with cool waters, there being no part of the lake unpervaded by the cool waters; even so, the monk permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the rapture and pleasure born of composure. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by rapture and pleasure born of composure...

[Third jhana]
"And furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' He permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture.

"Just as in a blue-, white-, or red-lotus pond, there may be some of the blue, white, or red lotuses which, born and growing in the water, stay immersed in the water and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated and pervaded, suffused and filled with cool water from their roots to their tips, and nothing of those blue, white, or red lotuses would be unpervaded with cool water; even so, the monk permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded with pleasure divested of rapture...

[Fourth jhana]
"And furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure and stress — as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress — he enters and remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity and mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. He sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness, so that there is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness.

"Just as if a man were sitting wrapped from head to foot with a white cloth so that there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend; even so, the monk sits, permeating his body with a pure, bright awareness. There is nothing of his entire body unpervaded by pure, bright awareness."

— AN 5.28
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:29 am

Well that sounds like someone who has been taught about the Buddha from the perspective of hinduism (not sure if it is one sect or more that believe this) and see the Buddha as a Avatara of Vishnu, just as Krishna was suppose to be. Missing the actual teachings, and clumping everyone in a group of not knowing the teachings themselves!
it is complete rubbish and also a possible attempt to sway members who are new and looking at Buddhism as a possible system to adopt into converting to their beliefs.
there are gods in Buddhism, but they are no more relevant to the practice and teachings than Barry White (who is GOD!the Blessed Walrus of :heart: )
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Placid-pool » Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:43 am

Yes, I was going to mention that as far as I know Brahma is a Hindu concept but not being very well versed in this, kept schtum. No connection? Good, I was getting confused as well.
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:33 am

Hi Dazzle,

Dazzlebling wrote:He also stated "one may achieve union with him by Buddhist Samatha Meditation"


In Buddhist teaching a samatha meditator who is adept in jhana may, after death, find herself reborn in one or another of the sixteen Brahma heavens. But this wouldn't be termed "union with Brahma" in anything like the Hindu sense. That is to to say, she won't find herself becoming of the same substance as Brahma or realizing her true identity with him/it, or anything like that. Rather, she'll simply be an individual, impermanent Brahma deity living with a bunch of other impermanent Brahma deities until the kamma that got her there is exhausted.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Will » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:10 pm

The bhakta was making a simple mistake. Brahmā (with the macron) is the Hindu creator, Brahma is an impersonal principle. The Gayatri mantra is aimed at either a female deity so called or Savitur the Sun deity. Buddhism has nothing to do with any of these.
Last edited by Will on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Aloka » Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:39 pm

Thank you for your help everyone, its much appreciated. You're always welcome to call in at BWB anytime.

Warm wishes,

Dazzle _/\_
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby kc2dpt » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:36 pm

This is the problem with internet forums; there is no vetting who posts information... and there is a lot of bad information out there. I feel sorry for anyone who depends on internet forums for basic information about Buddhism.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:12 am

Here is a thread on BeliefNet that addresses Bhakta Glenn's very confused claims about Buddhism, from page three on:

http://community.beliefnet.com/forums/s ... hp?t=18477
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Aloka » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:05 am

Thank you very much for that reference, tiltbillings. I also found this one:

http://www.forum.websangha.org/viewtopi ... %A6#p15095


I simply don't have the scholarly background of the moderators at either site to be able to debate with him, unfortunately!
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:47 am

Dhammanando wrote:Hi Dazzle,

Dazzlebling wrote:He also stated "one may achieve union with him by Buddhist Samatha Meditation"


In Buddhist teaching a samatha meditator who is adept in jhana may, after death, find herself reborn in one or another of the sixteen Brahma heavens. But this wouldn't be termed "union with Brahma" in anything like the Hindu sense. That is to to say, she won't find herself becoming of the same substance as Brahma or realizing her true identity with him/it, or anything like that. Rather, she'll simply be an individual, impermanent Brahma deity living with a bunch of other impermanent Brahma deities until the kamma that got her there is exhausted.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu

In addition to what Dhammanando and others have said, I'd add: in Buddhist cosmology, the Brahma worlds are very far from being the "highest" form of rebirth.
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby appicchato » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:41 am

Bhakta_Glenn wrote:...since when did Theravada Buddhism ever consider diplomacy when crushing the views of other faiths?

...and which particular expression of Right Speech are you practising?
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:46 am

since when did Theravada Buddhism ever consider diplomacy when crushing the views of other faiths?


The Theravada does not have a history of crashing the views of other faiths.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Clarification needed

Postby Tex » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:53 am

Bhakta_Glenn wrote:The reason why Hindus see the Buddha as an Avatar is because they have a different, uncompounded view of reality. From this perspective, the Buddha could not be considered to be anything else than an Avatar of God. But, since when did Theravada Buddhism ever consider diplomacy when crushing the views of other faiths?


That is an interesting paragraph. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you just explain why Hindus dismiss Buddha as being not at all what he claimed to be (and what Theravadins believe him to be), and then accuse Theravada Buddhism of crushing the views of other faiths?
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